NEW HOME TOP TIPS

Moving in checklist

Moving into a new home is a big change and there are always lots of things to do. It can be really stressful and you may have to pay for some things you weren’t expecting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know what to do, see our handy checklist of things to do when you move home below.

’My support worker has just been like my saviour really. She helps me with everything. She got me this place and helped me sort all my bills out. It’s given me a new lease of life cos I wouldn’t be here and in this place without The Bond Board. I’ve got my own life back.

GET SUPPORT

If you’re a private rented tenant in Rochdale or Bolton, we can help you with lots of things, including:

  • Getting your rent sorted, including applying for help with rent via Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
  • Setting up and managing your utility bills and Council Tax.
  • Getting furniture and other household essentials.
  • Help with budgeting and managing your money.
  • Help to apply for benefits and dealing with problems such as sanctions, overpayments and appeals.
  • Help to sort out problems with your landlord, including rent arrears and repair problems.

Read our top tips below about what to do when you first move into a new home and contact us HERE if you need some help.

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Here are our top tips for things to do when moving into a new home.

Paperwork, contact phone numbers and keys.

  • Keep all of the paperwork about your tenancy in a safe place-you might need to check it, use it to claim benefits or if there is a dispute with your landlord.
  • Make sure you have a phone number for your landlord/Letting Agent, including a number you can use in an emergency.
  • Check you’ve got keys that work for all your external doors. If you’ve only got one key for your door, get a spare one cut. If you lose your key and don’t have a spare one, the landlord will probably charge you to provide a new one or to change the locks.

Help with your rent

  • If you are on benefits or a low income, you should claim help with your rent as soon as you can. This is best done before you move in. If you haven’t done this, do it the day you move as it may not be backdated if you claim late.

You can claim either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, depending on your circumstances. If you already claim for Universal Credit, you should notify the DWP using your online journal or speak to your work coach at the Job Centre.

  • You will need to provide paperwork, for example your tenancy agreement, along with any other information the DWP/Housing Benefit ask for.
  • There is help available from The Bond Board if you are having problems claiming housing costs or if you are getting into rent arrears.

Council Tax

  • If you are on benefits or a low income, you should contact your local Council to apply for help towards your Council Tax Bill. This is not part of Universal Credit, so you must do it separately. Do this as soon as possible , as it may not be backdated if you claim late. If you already claim Council Tax Benefit, let the Council know you have moved as soon as possible.
  • Even if you are on benefits, Council Tax Benefit might not cover your full Council Tax Bill and you may have something to pay yourself. There is help available from The Bond Board if you are having problems with claiming Council Tax Benefit or if you are getting into arrears.

Furniture

  • If you haven’t got all the things you need for your home, it can be tempting to borrow money or take out a loan. This can be very expensive and leave you in debt.
  • The Bond Board can help you with free options for getting furniture and ‘white goods’, such as a cooker or fridge. We can help with applications to your Council’s Discretionary Crisis Fund, a Trust Fund or find donated items via The Bond Board’s ‘From My Place to Yours Project’.

Changing your address

  • Write a list and contact everyone who needs to know your new address. This could include the offices for any benefits you are claiming, banks, children’s schools, doctors, dentists, friends and family and any services that work with you, like support workers or other organisations.
  • Only tell people you know well and trust your new address. Do not put your address on social media websites like Facebook as you could have unwanted visitors or put yourself, your family or your home at risk.

Gas and Electricity

  • Read your Gas and Electricity Meters. If your landlord has given you readings already, check the meters match the figures your landlord has given you.
  • Contact whoever supplies your Gas and Electricity with the meter readings and the date you moved in. Get advice from The Bond Board if you don’t know who your supplier is.
  • You may want to consider swapping to an alternative supplier as they could be cheaper. The Bond Board can help you to look at your options.
  • If you have quarterly meters and want to switch to pre-payment meters, you will need to get permission from your landlord. You should get advice before swapping to pre-payment meters as they are more expensive and if you run out of money, you might have to go without gas and electricity.
  • If you are not on pre-payment meters, ask about the different ways to pay your bills, for example weekly or monthly and be realistic about what you can afford.
  • There is help available from The Bond Board if you have any problems registering for or paying bills.

Water and TV License

  • Contact United Utilities to register for your water account (they will tell you if there is a meter that you need to read) and TV Licensing about a TV licence if you watch live TV on a TV or computer. Both have various options for paying your bills.
  • There is help available from The Bond Board if you have any problems registering for or paying bills.

Your Safety

  • If there is gas in your property, check that your landlord has given you a Gas Safety Certificate at the start at the tenancy. This should have been done by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer. Your landlord should renew this once a year, before the date it runs out.
  • Your landlord also has to fit working smoke alarms on each floor of your home and provide a carbon monoxide detector if there is an appliance which burns solid fuel, such as an open fire or wood/coal burning stove.
  • When you move in, ask the landlord where the fuse box is for the electrics, the stopcock is for the water and where the mains gas supply is so you can turn them off if there is a problem, such as a gas or water leak.
  • Your home should be in a good state of repair and there shouldn’t be any hazards that might cause an accident.
  • If you have any concerns about your safety or repairs, speak to your landlord. If the problem isn’t sorted, contact the Bond Board.

How The Bond Board supported Kathryn

QUID'S IN COFFEE MORNINGS-ROCHDALE

Come along to our free ‘Quid’s In’ coffee mornings every fortnight in Rochdale town centre. Get help with looking for a home or any problems with your private rented tenancy and have a free brew (or two!) with us.

Our coffee mornings are free, friendly and informal. Even if you don’t need advice, you can still come along if you just fancy a chat.

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CONTACT US

Don’t struggle on your own. If you’re renting privately in Rochdale or Bolton and need support, contact us.

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